FAQ

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Consolidation of Agricor, Botanacor, Can-Lab & SC Labs

What’s changing for Hemp clients?

All hemp clients now have access to our new website. You will also see a new logo on your COAs, however, the address for the facility that conducted the testing will not change.

Former Botanacor customers will have access to their prior data, using the portal (orders.botanacor.com) and the same login credentials.

SC Labs hemp clients will see the CSP logo and colors change, but access to the portal will remain the same.

What’s changing for California and Oregon cannabis clients?

You will see the logo on all SC Labs communications change as well as have access to our new website.

What’s changing for Colorado cannabis clients (formerly Agricor)?

You will see the Agricor logo on all communications transition to SC Labs. The Colorado cannabis page has been updated with the latest regulatory information.

Also, you now have access to the SC Labs Client Service Portal (CSP). Here you can review your results and access other valuable features like our the QR code generator, Catalog View and more. Discover the full list of features.

Please note: As of September 26, 2022, SC Labs no longer publishes test results to the legacy Agricor client portal. All past results will still be available on that portal until December 31, 2023 for your use. After the grace period, please contact your account manager for historic COAs.

What’s changing for Michigan cannabis clients (formerly Can-Lab)?

You will see the Can-Lab logo on all communications transition to SC Labs. The Michigan cannabis page has been updated with the latest sample submission guidelines. Other than those administrative changes, SC Labs Michigan still has many of the same staff and processes.

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About SC Labs

Where are you located?

We currently have labs in four US states, with more on the way:

California (NorCal)
Cannabis & Hemp

Mon – Fri | 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
100 Pioneer St., Ste. E
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
P: (866) 435-0709

California (SoCal) – Cannabis
Mon – Fri | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
7027 Hayvenhurst Ave.
Van Nuys, CA 91406
P: (818) 922-2416

Colorado – Hemp
Mon – Fri | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1301 S. Jason St, Unit J
Denver, CO 80223
P: 888.800.8223

Colorado – Cannabis
Mon – Fri | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1001 S. Galapago St., Unit 101
Denver, CO 80223
Phone: 720.460.3489

Michigan – Cannabis
Mon – Fri | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
27610 College Park Dr., Ste. C
Warren, MI 48088
Office: 586.298.6464

Oregon – Cannabis
Mon – Fri | 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
15865 SW 74th Ave., #110
Tigard, OR 97224
P: (503) 272-8830

Does SC Labs sell cannabis products?

No. SC Labs is an analytical testing laboratory. SC Labs does not cultivate, produce, process, distribute nor sell cannabis or cannabis products. SC Laboratories is not responsible for manufacturers who inappropriately use our label and will take legal action in cases where we deem our testing or our trademark have been misrepresented.

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Getting Started

How do I start testing with SC Labs?

SC Labs is excited to serve the hemp industry nationwide. We also proudly serve the cannabis industry in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon. Getting started is easy! Simply fill out our get started form, or call (866) 435-0709 to start testing today!

What are the differences between testing for regulatory compliance vs. research and development (R&D) or quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC)?

Cannabis compliance tests:

  • Designed to meet the regulatory requirements for cannabis products as required by various governing bodies.
  • Must be reported to individual states’ track-and-trace systems, like Metrc, where they may be used to validate or disqualify batches as eligible for market.
  • In some states, cannabis sampling is required to be performed by laboratory personnel or designated test batch collectors (requirements vary by state).

Hemp compliance tests:

  • Intended to meet the regulatory requirements for industrial hemp and hemp products as required by various governing bodies.
  • Pre-harvest tests must be reported to the Department of Agriculture, where they may be used to validate or disqualify batches as eligible for market.

R&D or QA/QC tests:

  • Limited to internal use by producers, manufacturers, distributors, patients, etc.* to verify or improve the quality of their products/processes.
  • Are not reported to the state, and are not associated with batches.
  • Require a smaller sample size.
  • Allow clients to choose any combination of tests à la carte—including tests under the compliance panel and additional specialty tests.
  • Do not require SC Labs to perform the sampling.
  • R&D samples can come from non-licensees, while QA/QC samples must come from a licensee.

Both regulatory compliance and R&D testing rules vary by state, so please speak with your account manager for more information.

Do you have sampling and courier services?

Yes! SC Labs’ professional field technicians can make sampling an efficient and enjoyable part of your process. Contact your account representative to schedule sampling or pickup service.

National Hemp

We offer sampling and courier services for hemp samples in the following states: California, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon. Those in other states or countries are welcome to ship samples. Please contact your account representative for more information about which laboratory to send samples to.

California Cannabis

Under California’s cannabis regulations, all regulatory compliance test samples in California must be taken by an employee of the testing laboratory using validated methods to ensure that the sample is representative of the larger batch. The collection of compliance samples must occur at a distributor’s or microbusiness’ licensed facility under camera surveillance.

All QA/QC or R&D test samples for cannabis (not hemp) submitted by licensees must either be collected from the licensee’s premises by the lab sampler/courier, or be delivered to the licensed lab facility by an employee of the licensee.

We also have couriers throughout California available to pick up non-regulated samples. We are able to accept samples via certain third-party couriers as well. Your account representative will help you find the most efficient method of getting your samples to the lab.

Colorado Cannabis

In Colorado, cannabis samples must be collected from the licensee’s premises by a Designated Test Batch Collector or a licensed lab sampler.

We offer fast sample pick-up all across Colorado, with regular service along the Front Range (Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo). Please contact us to arrange collections outside this area.

Michigan Cannabis

Under current Michigan regulations, all samples must be collected from the licensee’s premises by a licensed lab sampler.

We offer a vast network of trained samplers spanning across Michigan, and we’ll work with you to find a convenient day and time to perform the sampling event.

Existing clients are able to use the TagLeaf portal to request a pickup for a particular day. New clients should contact us or call our main office line (586) 298-6464.

Oregon Cannabis

In Oregon, an agent of the testing laboratory must perform the sampling for regulatory compliance tests, although the producer may bring the batch to the laboratory for sampling.

Contact us for information on submitting R&D samples. Your account representative will help you find the most efficient method of getting your samples to the lab.

How long does it take to get my test results?

We have changed how we schedule our sample intake to provide our customers with a more reliable turnaround time. For all standard tests, with the exception of a few microbial tests that require a longer incubation period, SC Labs averages a three-day turnaround time. We will send you a notification when your results are ready with a link to our Client Services Portal, your one-stop shop for ordering* and reporting.

*Ordering through the CSP is only currently available in California.

What are the guidelines for using the SC Labs "Tested" logo and/or labels on my product?

Customers who want to use the SC Labs “Tested” logo on their products must perform and pass full regulatory compliance testing for each batch of product that is bearing the logo. There are no exceptions. Please contact your account representative for more information.

The use of either the SC Labs “Tested” logo or the SC Labs logo without express written permission from SC Labs is strictly prohibited. SC Labs makes every effort to ensure that clients whose products bear an SC Labs logo adhere to our rules and protocols, but hold no warranties or guarantees on any product bearing our logo nor any representations by the manufacturer thereof.

We always recommend that cannabis consumers request a Certificate of Analysis from the manufacturer, distributor or retailer to ensure that the product has been tested for safety.

What kinds of cannabis and hemp material does SC Labs test?

We test cannabis and hemp flowers, concentrates/extracts, leaves, e-liquids/vape oils, crystallized isolates, as well as liquid and solid infused products such as lotions, tinctures, and edibles. Don’t forget about your inputs! We test beeswax, rolling papers, chocolate, terpenes, and much more. If you need a product tested that does not fall within this list, contact us, it is likely that we can test that too!

What kinds of analytical testing does SC Labs offer?

SC Labs offers safety and potency testing that satisfies cannabis regulatory requirements in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon as well as hemp regulatory requirements nationwide.

As just an example, our menu of testing services includes profile testing for cannabinoids and terpenes; contaminant testing for heavy metals and microbials; and speciality testing for shelf life and Vitamin E.

See the full list of testing options below:

Can you test homegrown cannabis and hemp?

It depends. While we can only test homegrown or unlicensed cannabis in California, Michigan, and Oregon, we can test homegrown/unlicensed hemp from anywhere inside and outside the USA.

Do you accept samples from outside the US?

We can accept hemp samples from outside the United States, but all foreign samples must include the proper import paperwork. Please contact us for more information.

Can you test rare cannabinoids (Delta-10, HHC, THC-O, etc)?

It depends on what you need and where you’re located. Within our network, we test Δ8, Δ9, Δ10, and exo-THC.

How many terpenes are detected in your Terpenoid test panel?

The number of terpenes on our tests varies by state. We currently test for the 39 most common terpenoids in California, 22 in Colorado, 20 in Michigan, and 35 in Oregon.

In 2021, we introduced a revolutionary chemometric report, Phytofacts®, that utilizes the sample’s cannabinoid and terpenoid data to offer insight into its chemometric profile, flavors, aromas, anticipated effects, and more.

Find out more about our unique terpene offerings.

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Using the CSP

The majority of these questions relate specifically to the SC Labs Client Service Portal (CSP), though some include information for other portals used by SC Labs clients.

I just submitted my first samples to SC Labs. Now what?

National Hemp, and California, Colorado, and Oregon Cannabis

Once your first batch of samples is logged in our system, you can check the status by logging into your Client Service Portal. For R&D testing, preliminary results are available to view as the assays are completed, even before the official COA is released. For compliance, all results show “processing” until the official COA is released.

Once all results are ready, you will receive an email notifying you that your results are ready to view.

Michigan Cannabis

In Michigan, log into your TagLeaf Portal, where you can request a pickup through the calendar, view all samples submitted and their status, and download PDFs of each COA.

Who is my customer service representative?

We have a dedicated team of experienced customer service specialists on staff to walk you through any issues that may come up. Clients are assigned to an account manager based on your location; we encourage our clients to get to know their representative, as they will be your primary contact with the lab and a great resource for information on testing. Clients with CSP access can also find their SC Labs contact information on the CSP Dashboard.

Should you ever have trouble reaching your account manager and need to speak to someone immediately, anyone on the customer service team will be able to assist you via phone, email, or through the chat feature on the CSP.

Where do I find my Client ID Number?

Once your account has been set up, you will be issued an SC Labs Client ID Number in our Laboratory Inventory Management System. Your customer service representative will include this number in the welcome email they send you, along with login credentials to access your account in our Client Service Portal. This SCLID will also be visible under your account name/logo when logged in to your portal.

Where do I view my results?

California, Colorado, and Oregon Cannabis, and National Hemp using Santa Cruz Lab

Results are sent directly to your account in the Client Service Portal. Enter your login credentials at client.sclabs.com, then click the “Samples” menu option to see a list of all your tested samples. Here, you have a few different options for viewing your results:

  • Simply hover over the sample name to get a pop-up box with an abbreviated report of your results.
  • Click on the sample name to see the Sample Detail Page which contains the full report of your results. This page lists each analyte tested in an easy-to-read format that can easily be shared with friends, followers, or business partners. The concentration of cannabinoids present in your sample is listed in both numerical and graphical form. We identify and quantify a broad range of commonly found terpenes while providing valuable insight through our Chemometric Report. You will also get a breakdown of the results for any other tests you may have ordered for that particular sample.
  • From your Samples page, locate the desired sample, then click “COA [PDF]” under the Documentation column. This will download a PDF of the Official Certificate of Analysis containing your test results. You may now save or open this PDF to view your results, share these results with your associates via email, or even print out to keep on hand. This “Documentation” section is also where you will find items like sample labels, a QR code for the Sample Detail Page, and more. Your customer service representative will walk you through all of these tools and features after you sign up for an account.

Michigan Cannabis

After signing into TagLeaf, navigate to the “samples” tab on the left pane. Once in the module you can view all samples submitted including in progress and completed samples. On the far right “actions” column you will find buttons to view online COAs and download PDFs for each sample. You can also print product labels in a variety of sizes.

National Hemp using Denver Lab

Sign into orders.botanacor.com, navigate to the “samples” tab on the top right. Once in the module you can view all samples.

What if I am not able to log into my account using login credentials?

If you get an “access denied” error, check that your “caps lock” is not on, as your username and password are case-sensitive. If you’re still having trouble, check to see that you are up to date with your billing. Sometimes our system will automatically block users if they have an overdue invoice with us. If that doesn’t fix the problem, please don’t hesitate to give your customer service representative a call and they will be happy to assist you.

What should I know about my Catalog Page on our Client Service Portal?

You want to become familiar with your Catalog Page on the Client Service Portal (CSP). Here you can do so much more than just access your test results. This page is fully customizable and allows you to embed your logo, social media, and other profile information into the unique marketing materials we provide to you.

The best way to understand how to navigate your Catalog Page is to jump on a call with your customer service representative. They will walk you through all the different features and make sure you know how to take full advantage of this special aspect of our service. We are adding new features on a regular basis and we want to make this portal as useful to you as possible. If you have an idea for new functionality for your profile page, please don’t hesitate to let your customer service representative know. Your feedback is always appreciated!

How do I set up my notification settings?

The Client Service Portal (CSP) allows you to customize which notifications you and others at your company receive as a sample makes its way through the testing process. Simply log in, click on the Profile menu option, and select the Notifications tab. Here, you can add or remove recipients and choose which emails they receive.

How do I schedule a regulatory compliance or R&D test?

California Cannabis and Nationwide Hemp

You can start the process in the Client Service Portal (CSP). After logging in, click “Submit Samples” and follow the prompts to complete your submission. For orders that need to be sampled or picked up by SC Labs staff, our representatives will schedule the event within the requested date and time or contact you to offer an alternative timeframe.

Colorado Cannabis

Before or after submitting your order in Metrc, you’ll reach out to your Account Manager by phone or email to schedule pickups. Anything submitted before 10:30 a.m. MT can be scheduled the same day, anything after is considered next-day pickup.

Michigan Cannabis

Existing MI clients can request a pickup through the TagLeaf portal, calling our front desk (586-298-6464), or by reaching out to their Account Manager by phone or email.

Once a pickup has been scheduled through TagLeaf, please wait for our sampler to arrive before creating the Metrc transfer manifest. Once the sampler has finished and the manifest has been verified by the lab, the samples will be received in Metrc by the lab. At this point, your samples will appear in the TagLeaf portal; a notification email will be sent to you when the samples have been published.

Oregon Cannabis

To schedule a pick up, you can reach out to your Oregon Account Manager by phone or email. Orders are submitted in Metrc after sampling. Once placed, you will be able to track your order within the CSP.

Can I mail samples to the lab?

Cannabis

We are unable to receive cannabis samples via mail. All cannabis samples for regulatory compliance and R&D testing must be transferred into our custody following your state-specific requirements. In California, for instance, cannabis compliance samples must be sampled at your facility by an SC Labs field technician, while R&D cannabis is allowed to be delivered to the lab by an employee of the distributor or microbusiness. In Colorado, compliance sampling can be handled by a Designated Test Batch Collector, and clients can drop off R&D samples to the lab so long as it’s logged and transferred to us in Metrc.

Hemp

We do accept Hemp (below 0.3 % Δ9-THC post-decarboxylation as defined by the 2018 Farm Bill) samples via the mail.

Both regulatory compliance and R&D testing rules vary by state and by hemp vs. cannabis, so please speak with your customer service representative for more information.

How do I mark my results visible (or not) to the public?

In accordance with SC Labs’ Testing Agreements and to ensure transparency within the cannabis marketplace, all passing compliance and R&D (QA/QC) test results are initially set to “Public.” This aids consumers and supply-chain business partners when verifying results. Changing a result’s visibility is simple from within the Client Service Portal.

SAMPLES PAGE:

From the Dashboard, click on the Samples menu option. Find the desired sample in the list, then locate the visibility icon in the rightmost column. Clicking this icon will toggle the visibility of the sample on and off.

SAMPLE DETAIL PAGE:

From the Dashboard, click on the Samples menu option, then click the desired sample in the list to launch its Sample Detail Page. Underneath the sample photo, you will find this sample’s visibility status and a link to change it.

CATALOG VIEW:

Whether viewing in tile mode list mode, you’ll find the visibility icon with each sample. Clicking this icon will toggle the visibility of the sample on and off. Alternatively, you can select one or more samples which will in turn reveal the Actions menu, then use the visibility icon in the Actions menu to set the visibility of all selected items.

Please note that changing a sample from public to private does not deactivate the link or the sample’s QR code—it simply hides the result from the public on your catalog view page, and visitors will see a message that you’ve marked the results private. You will still be able to see and access the sample while logged into the CSP.

Additionally, the Sample Detail Page provides options to share its link via Facebook, Twitter, email, or by copying the link to your clipboard.

How can I use labels on my packaging?

We encourage our regulatory compliance clients to take advantage of our “SC Labs Tested” labels by placing them on their product. This allows your buyers to see the name/strain of your product, date tested, as well as results for total cannabinoids and terpenes. Labels feature the SC Labs seal, as well as a QR scan-code unique to your sample, allowing others to scan your product and be immediately directed to the Sample Detail Page with the full results.

We offer 3 label options based on the unit of measurement (percentage, mg/g, and mg/unit) as well as another option featuring only the QR code.

Customers who want to use SC Labs “Tested” labels on the packaging of their products must perform and pass full regulatory compliance testing for each batch of product that bears the labels. There are no exceptions. Please contact your account representative for more information.

Use of the SC Labs “Tested” labels or logo without express written permission from SC Labs is strictly prohibited. SC Labs makes every effort to ensure that clients whose products bear the SC Labs “Tested” labels adhere to our rules and protocols for use on their products, but hold no warranties or guarantees on any product bearing our logo nor any representations by the manufacturer thereof.

How do I print my labels?

Log into the Client Service Portal to access sample labels.

SAMPLES PAGE:

Locate the desired sample, find the Documentation column to the right of the page, and click “Other”. This will give you a drop-down menu with a list of downloadable items, including sample labels. Select the type of label you wish to begin the download process. You also have the option to download just the QR code associated with your individual sample. This option is simply labeled “QR” in the dropdown menu.

SAMPLE DETAIL PAGE:

From the Dashboard, click on the Samples menu option, then click the desired sample in the list to launch its Sample Detail Page. Underneath the sample photo and this sample’s visibility status, you will find a Downloads section with a list of downloadable items, including sample labels. Select the type of label you wish to begin the download process. You also have the option to download just the QR code associated with your individual sample. This option is simply labeled “QR” in the bulleted list.

You will want to purchase specific Avery labels from any office supply store, depending on what kind of printer you have. Our sample labels support the Avery 1″ x 2-5/8″ Blank Rectangle Label Template (5160 for laser printers and 8160 for Inkjet printers). The standalone QR code supports Avery 1.5” Square Labels Template (22805, which covers various label paper/ink options).

How do I get help interpreting my results?

Take a quick tour of our reports and the data we provide:

For additional assistance, any one of our SC Labs account managers are happy to help you understand your results.

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The Science of Cannabis: Know Your Regs

Cannabis regulations vary greatly depending on where you are, and they change often. For the latest regulations, please check the websites of your regulatory bodies.

What tests must a cannabis producer perform to be regulatory compliant in California?

Since passage of the first regulations with the Bureau of Cannabis Control (now the Department of Cannabis Control) in 2018, the State of California has required safety and dosage testing of both recreational and medical cannabis and cannabis products.

To be compliant with the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) testing requirements, a producer needs to test each batch for cannabinoid levels, residual solvents and processing chemicals (cannabis products and pre-rolls only), residual pesticides, microbial impurities, moisture content (flower and pre-rolls only), foreign material, mycotoxins, heavy metals, and water activity (flower, pre-rolls, and solid edibles only). Terpenoids are a required test when producers make label claims involving terpene content.

Current regulations require laboratory personnel to perform representative sampling for all regulatory compliance testing. SC Labs has an experienced team of samplers and we offer an extensive sampling program. We can meet your sampling needs where you need us, when you need us!

Additional resources:

What tests must a cannabis producer perform to be regulatory compliant in Colorado?

Colorado regulates cannabis and cannabis products through the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), which requires third-party laboratory testing. Sampling procedures are regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Colorado compliance testing regulations require different tests depending on the type of product. These tests include potency, homogeneity, elemental impurities (heavy metals), microbiological contaminants, mycotoxins, pesticides, residual solvents, and water activity.

Sampling must be conducted at a licensee’s premises by a Designated Test Batch Collector.

Additional resources:

What tests must a cannabis producer perform to be regulatory compliant in Michigan?

In Michigan, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) establishes the regulatory testing requirements for cannabis and cannabis products, including the laboratory-performed collection of a cannabis batch. Compliance tests might include potency, pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, microbiological impurities, homogeneity, water activity, foreign matter, and vitamin E, depending on the product type. Batch sizes also depend on the product type.

If you need any assistance parsing the regulations listed below, please contact your local SC Labs account manager. They are available to support both your scientific and regulatory needs.

Additional resources:

What tests must a cannabis producer perform to be regulatory compliant in Oregon?

Oregon requires defined sets of compliance tests that vary depending upon the type and intent of the product. Product ‘types’ include usable marijuana (cannabis buds, shake, or trim), extracts/concentrates, and cannabinoid products. The ‘intentions’ include retail sale, further processing, and human consumption.

Oregon requires ‘usable marijuana’ or the cannabis buds, shake, or trim to be tested for cannabinoids, pesticides, mycotoxins, water activity, and moisture content. Cannabis extracts need to be tested for cannabinoids, pesticides, mycotoxins, and residual solvents (unless produced with a solventless process). Infused products are tested for potency only, but inputs must be tested first.

* Beginning March 1, 2023, Oregon will also require micro and metals testing.

More information on required tests are detailed by the Oregon Health Authority’s Marijuana Testing Requirements.

Oregon regulations require independent representative sampling. SC Labs can arrange for sampling anywhere in Oregon to meet your testing needs. Please contact your customer service representative to schedule sampling.

More information on Oregon’s marijuana testing regulations can be found at the Oregon Health Authority website.

What do LOD and LOQ mean? How are they different?

The Limit of Detection (LOD) is the lowest concentration of an analyte (the compound you are testing for) that the laboratory can confidently say results in a positive detection. In other words, it is the lowest concentration of an analyte where the response on the instrument can be confidently distinguished from baseline noise.

The Limit of Quantitation (LOQ) is the lowest concentration of an analyte that can be reliably measured by a laboratory. In other words, it represents the lowest point in the laboratory’s range of quantitation for that analyte. In order for a laboratory to accurately quantify results, the LOQ must be within the range of an instrument’s calibration.

A laboratory with lower LOD and LOQ is typically capable of a more sensitive analysis. The LOD and LOQ for each analyte tested is recorded on all of our COAs. When the concentration of an analyte is determined to be between the established LOD and LOQ, the result will be reported as “< LOQ”.

What is the difference between Sum of Cannabinoids and Total Cannabinoids?

The Sum of Cannabinoids is the concentration of each individual cannabinoid tested added together as they are. It does not account for decarboxylation and is representative of the chemical profile of the sample before being heated/smoked. Since certain cannabis products are not intended to be smoked, this uncorrected data is of particular importance to both producers and consumers of those types of products. As an example, our Santa Cruz, CA laboratory calculates Sum of Cannabinoids with the following formula:*

Sum of Cannabinoids = [∆9THC] + [THCa] + [CBD] + [CBDa] + [CBG] + [CBGa] + [THCV] + [THCVa] + [CBC] + [CBCa] + [CBDV] + [CBDVa] + [∆8THC] + [CBL] + [CBN]

The Total Cannabinoids is the concentration of each acidic cannabinoid, multiplied by 0.877 to account for the loss of the carboxyl group, then added to the concentration of the neutral cannabinoid for a total. Accounting for the decarboxylation of THCa and CBDa in this manner is required by DCC regulations, however, SC Lab has chosen to apply this logic to all acidic cannabinoids. This corrected data is of particular importance to both producers and consumers of products intended to be smoked. It is calculated according to the following formula:

Total Cannabinoids = [∆9THC] + (0.877*[THCa]) + [CBD] + (0.877*[CBDa]) +[CBG] + (0.877*[CBGa]) + [THCV] + (0.877*[THCVa]) + [CBC] + (0.877*[CBCa]) + [CBDV] + (0.877*[CBDVa]) + [∆8THC] + [CBL] + [CBN]

* The above calculations may vary based upon the lab location, as some state requirements and lab offerings will include varying sets of cannabinoids.

What is Measurement Uncertainty?

Measurement Uncertainty is the range of possible values surrounding the measurement value. The size of this range determines the confidence of measurement, or how accurately the measured value compares to the true value.

We determine Measurement Uncertainty for all of our analytes in accordance with Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology (JCGM) Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (JCGM 100:2008 – GUM 1995 with minor corrections), as required by ISO 17025:2017. This internationally recognized standard requires us to conduct numerous experiments in order to determine the uncertainty of our test methods and equipment utilized when analyzing a given analyte in a particular matrix.

What is the difference between Moisture Content and Water Activity?

Moisture Content is a measure of the quantity of water and other volatile compounds in a material.

Water Activity is a little more complex in concept and is more a measure of the ‘availability’ of that water to support microbial growth. For example, foods with a lot of sugar or salt, like honey or bacon, will often have a comparatively lower water activity despite a higher overall moisture content, and they will resist spoiling compared to other foods with similar moisture contents.

The way SC Labs measures Moisture Content is by weighing a material before and after drying to a constant mass. This ‘loss on drying‘ can be expressed in multiple formats, typically either as a ratio or a percentage representing the portion of the solid sample’s weight that was moisture. SC Labs, like other cannabis laboratories, uses ‘loss on drying’ to measure cannabis samples and records results as a percentage.

Water Activity is defined as the partial vapor pressure of water in a material (cannabis, food, etc.), divided by the partial vapor pressure of water at the same temperature. Increased Water Activity values are indicators of increased likelihood of microbiological growth. Water Activity is expressed in units of aw and values of over 0.7aw are generally considered to support fungal growth while bacteria tend to proliferate at above 0.9aw. Besides an indication of likeliness to support microbiological growth, water activity gives an indication of the long-term stability—or shelf life—of cannabis and its products.

Why is Moisture Content automatically conducted for QA/QC cannabinoid testing submissions in California?

The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) strictly requires that all cannabinoid data for compliance flower and un-infused pre-roll samples be reported on a dry-weight basis; therefore, all cannabinoid concentrations must be adjusted to account for a flower’s moisture content. In an effort to better reflect the cannabinoid results of compliance testing during R&D testing, our California labs automatically conduct moisture testing on all flower and un-infused pre-roll sample submissions. It is calculated according to the following formula:

Dry-weight %cannabinoid = (wet-weight %cannabinoid) / (1 − %moisture / 100)

How is the Microbiological Contaminant test performed?

SC Labs uses quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for Microbiological Contaminant testing. qPCR is a highly sensitive and discriminatory technique for identifying and quantifying microorganisms. It directly detects and measures DNA of only the specific species of organisms we are looking for. When properly developed, the high selectivity of qPCR greatly reduces the possibility of false positives compared to other techniques. We have painstakingly selected, developed, and validated, what we believe to be the most reliable selection of microbiological contaminant assays available to the cannabis market.

View our test menus to find out more:

We also offer testing for microbiological contaminants using 3M™ Petrifilm™. Current tests include yeast and mold, aerobic bacteria, E. coli, Coliforms, Salmonella, and more.

What are mycotoxins?

“Mycotoxin” is an umbrella term used to define toxic compounds produced as secondary metabolites by fungus. There are several types of mycotoxins produced by a wide variety of fungi. Some of the most prolific producers of mycotoxins are some Aspergillus species of fungi, but other common cannabis contaminants like certain species of Fusarium and Penicillium are known producers of mycotoxins. Some mycotoxins that could be of concern to cannabis consumers include aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2), ochratoxin, citrinin, and fumonisins.

What is ISO accreditation?

SC Labs is proud to have achieved ISO 17025:2017 accreditation for its labs in California, Colorado, and Michigan. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the recognized leader in developing international standards for testing labs, manufactured products, agricultural and food safety, consumer products, and healthcare. The ISO 17025 accreditation standard applies directly to testing laboratories including environmental, food, and, now, cannabis laboratories. It prescribes documentation and transparency requirements into most functions of a laboratory, especially quality management systems, test method validation, and customer transparency.

SC Labs considered ISO 17025 accreditation vital to ensuring customer confidence in our test results and quality management systems. That’s why we attained our accreditation before it was a requirement. Our customers enjoy peace of mind that their test results from SC Labs will stand up to scrutiny from any regulatory or other third-party entity.

How are batch sizes defined in each state?

California

Current Department of Cannabis Control regulations specify the maximum weight of a harvest batch of cannabis flower is 50 lbs. A batch of cannabis products can contain no more than 150,000 units. As such the DCC requires one regulatory compliant test panel per 50 lbs. of cannabis flower or 150,000 units of a cannabis product at a minimum. Learn more.

Colorado

Current MED regulations do not stipulate a maximum batch weight. In order to run full compliance tests in Colorado, we require the following minimum sample sizes: Flower 17 g; Concentrate 6 g; Viscous Extracts 10 g; Infused Product 16 g; and Vape Carts 18 g. Learn more.

Michigan

Current Cannabis Reulatory Agency (CRA) regulations specify that a maximum batch size of flower is 50 lbs. We always require at least 14 g of material to run full compliance tests in Michigan, even if your calculated minimum sample size is lower. Learn more.

Oregon

A batch of Usable Marijuana cannot exceed 50 lbs, in containers no larger than 15 lbs. Manufactured products including: concentrates, extracts and other cannabis products batch sizes are limited to the size of the manufacturer’s production run. Learn more.

How much product do you need to perform testing?

Sample size requirements may vary depending on state requirements, laboratory requirements and your product type. Be sure to speak with your SC Labs account manager to ensure successful sample submission. To ensure your data is as accurate, compliant, and defensible, please refer to the following guidance.